Deirdra: What are your favorite kind of books to read and why?
Eileen: I like to read paranormal romance and dystopian because it’s just so fun to immerse myself in the fantastical world that the authors create. Real life is so boring sometimes, and it’s a big relief to get to escape to the fantastical world that the awesome authors create.
Deirdra: How many books on average would you say you read a year?
Eileen: It really depends on the length. If it’s around four hundred pages, then I’ll read a hundred books.
Deirdra: What is the most recent book you read? Can you tell us a little about it?
Eileen: I most recently read the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins because I saw an awesome trailer for it and my classmates read it and started gushing about it. It basically is about how Katniss’s sister gets chosen to compete in the Hunger Games, an annual competition that requires you to kill ruthlessly and those who don’t win die. A boy and girl are chosen from each of the twelve districts. Katniss takes her sister’s place, and Peeta Mellark, the boy from her district chosen to participate in the Hunger Games, is the one drawn to compete. And afterward, Katniss and Peeta end up being contenders to win.
Deirdra: What is the most disappointing thing authors do?
Eileen: Personally, I hate it when people repeat phrases over and over again. Thesauruses are made for a reason, and I hate it when authors repeat “said” or something like that over and over again throughout the story. Another thing that disappoints me is when the character is forced to make stupid decisions and it’s so obvious that they’re doing the wrong thing, but they remain oblivious.
Deirdra: Who are your top five favorite authors?
Eileen: My top five favorite authors would have to be Julie Kagawa, author of the Iron Fey series; Bree Despain, author of the Dark Divine series; Rachel Hawkins, author of the Hex Hall series; Cassandra Clare, author of the Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices series; and Ally Condie, author of the Matched series.
Deirdra: How do you feel about e-books?
Eileen: I feel so-so about them. As a big fan of reading, I personally like to have the book in my hands so I can look at the cover and obsess over it. Sometimes, if I’m really obsessed, I’ll just hug the book, and you can’t exactly do that when it’s an e-book. And if you happen to want to refer back in the book because you missed a part that might have been important, it’s extremely hard to do so on a Kindle.
Deirdra: If you could give a message to authors what would it be?
Eileen: I would tell them that they’re doing a very good job at writing books, only that if they want them to be even more successful, they should grab the reader in the beginning. There are so many books that are so slow in the beginning that I want to put the book down, but I force myself to read a few more chapters in, and I find that I actually like it. Some people will just put the book down, no matter how good the middle is supposed to be.
Deirdra: Have you ever thought about writing a book?
Eileen: I actually have written a book. It’s really bad, in my opinion, but it was fun to pretend to be in someone else’s shoes and write a story the way I would want it to be.
Deirdra: What other talents and hobbies to you have?
Eileen: I love to sing and perform whenever I can. I actually want to be a singer when I grow up, and I write songs and everything, but I’m still working on showing people what I’m made up. I might start up a YouTube account soon, though.
Deirdra: Where is your favorite place to read?
Eileen: I love to read in my bed. I have a super-bright lamp on my nightstand, and I use a Pillow Pet that I got a while ago for my birthday to cushion my head!
Deirdra: Do you have a favorite reading snack?
Eileen: If I tried to eat while I read, I would probably forget the food entirely, because whenever I read, I get so immersed in it that I forget about almost everything else around me. If I ever did snack while I read, I would eat something like crackers, so that I can just reach for them and never have to use a fork or something to get it into my mouth.
Deirdra: What books have made you cry?
Eileen: There are a lot. I’m a really big emotional person, and I’ll just start bawling if someone dies or something extremely devastating happens. I’ve cried in the Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa, at the end when Meghan and Ash were under King Machina’s tree. (Sorry, can’t spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read it! But it’s super good, so I highly recommend the Iron Fey series, starting with the Iron King.) It was sort of romantic and super-sad all at the same time. I also cried during The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks, when toward the end when Ronnie and her dad, Steve, found out that Steve was going to die and there was no way around it. I think I got close to crying about ten times at the end of that book. I also cried at the end of Where the Red Fern Grows. I read that a year ago, and it was a book that I had to read for my LAL class, so I can’t remember the author. But I remember the main character’s dogs died, and the dogs were the main feature in the book. My class read it during school, and while the audio book played behind me, I was fighting tears, but in the end I succumbed to them. Everyone was staring at me, but all the other girls were bawling, too.
Deirdra: What books have made you laugh?
Eileen: Again, a lot of books have made me laugh. I’ve laughed whenever there were jokes, and a lot of books like to make jokes. Some are the Hex Hall books, because Sophie Mercer is super snarky and very jokey. Another one is the Iron Fey series, because Puck is always making jokes and doing really funny stuff. And I also laughed in the Hunger Games, when Katniss and Peeta started poking fun at everybody during the Games.
Deirdra: What kind of books are you looking to read next? What is on your reading list?
Eileen: I want to fit in more dystopian, because I just discovered it and I read a lot of paranormal romance. I want to read Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare, Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, Crossed by Ally Condie, Wither by Lauren DeStefano, and a lot more. There are a lot of new books coming out next year, and a lot are ones of a series that I’ve been eagerly anticipating. Some examples are Spellbound, the last one in the Hex Hall trilogy and Savage Grace, the last one in the Dark Divine Series. There’s also Insurgent, the next book in the Divergent series, and the Pretty Little Liars and Lying Game series. I have yet to read the next two books in the Pretty Little Liars series and for the third Lying Game book to come out.
Deirdra: Is there any other message you would like to give the literary community?
Eileen: I would just say to keep reading, and for any authors out in the world to keep trying. Even if the odds seem against them, or if their book seems wrong, they should keep trying. You never know; it could turn out to be the next Harry Potter. And that includes anyone who doesn’t even want to be an author, and wants to be something else. You should always keep trying, no matter what. As a last note, you should always read, because it’s great, in a way. You should find books that you truly enjoy, and just read.
Thank you so much, Eileen. It’s a real honor to get your insights.